9Rubber DucksMatt Weber: August 29, 2013 | 503,566 views
Of all the things to fall off a cargo ship, arguably the cutest was a crate of 28,000 rubber ducks and other bath toys. They went overboard in 1992, and beachcombers all over the world are still coming across the rubber ducks today—more than twenty years later.
Many of the toys have floated ashore, but there are still thousands of them bobbling through the high seas, following the ocean’s many currents and gyres. Although most people would prefer that 28,000 pollutants hadn’t entered the ocean, the toys have had a positive side effect in that they’ve revolutionized our understanding of ocean currents. The ducks were abandoned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean while on a voyage from Hong Kong to the United States, and they’ve since shown up in far off places like South America, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, Scotland, Newfoundland, and the Atlantic. Some are even frozen in Arctic ice.
Most notably, tracking the duck’s movements enabled oceanographers to better understand the circuit of the North Pacific Gyre, and brought attention to the “ocean garbage patch” that lies within. It’s estimated that more than two thousand ducks are drifting amid the massive amount of trash and sludge that has been caught in the gyre’s currents.
8Giant Lego Man
You never know what kind of flotsam you’ll discover while taking a stroll down the shore—yet even for the most experienced beachcomber, stumbling across an eight-foot-tall, one-hundred-pound Lego man is entirely unexpected. Nevertheless, versions of Ego Leonard (the Lego figure seen above) have apparently washed ashore on at least four beaches throughout the world.
The first Ego Leonard sighting was in 2007, when the colorful sculpture was retrieved from a sea near the Netherlands. The following year he was found on Brighton Beach, U.K.; in 2011 he showed up at Siesta Key Beach, Florida; and in 2012 he appeared on a beach in Los Angeles, California. Ego Leonard always has the message “No Real Than You Are” printed on his torso—adding a somewhat eerie and grammatically dubious element to an otherwise delightful fellow.